Husky has held two open houses in early November in Lloydminster and Maidstone where they outlined plans to construct a new crude and condensate pipeline to support it’s growing heavy oil thermal production in Saskatchewan.

Husky spokesperson Mel Duvall said via email on Nov. 20, “The two pipelines are 52 kilometres in length, consisting of a 20-inch crude pipeline, which will transport crude produced from our thermal operations north of the North Saskatchewan River to our complex in Lloydminster, and an 8-inch condensate pipeline, which will transport condensate from Lloydminster to our thermal operations.

“The North Leg pipeline is needed to support our growing heavy oil thermal production in the region. As you may be aware, we have four new thermal projects that are currently under construction. Rush Lake 2 is scheduled to come online in early 2019 and Dee Valley, Spruce Lake North and Spruce Lake Central are expected to come online in 2020. Combined, the four projects will add about 40,000 barrels per day of production. Beyond those projects, we plan to bring on two additional thermals per year for the foreseeable future.”

He said the North Leg project is expected to create 275 to 500 jobs during construction and will take about six months to complete, once it receives regulatory approval.

“We are incorporating many of the same improvements in the new pipeline that were built into the repair of the 16 TAN line. The entire length will be outfitted with fibre optic monitoring, which will provide acoustic, thermal and strain monitoring and assist in detecting leaks, ground movement and other events in real time. Thicker pipes and higher grade steel will be used at the North Saskatchewan River crossing and additional measures are being taken to minimize the risk of ground movement.

“We expect to decommission 16 TAN once the new pipeline is in operation.”

The 16 TAN pipeline was the one that spilled approximately 1,415 barrels of blended heavy crude oil and condensate onto the river valley and into the North Saskatchewan River.

The projects also include a 20-inc, 9.5 kilometre raw water pipeline that will transport water to existing and future thermal projects north of the river. It originates south of the river at the Husky direct intake high lift station, and crosses the river to the northeast parallel to the new pipeline. Five kilometres of smaller replacement pipelines between Sandall and Celtic junction will also be built.

Refinery deferred

Husky had been looking at building a new asphalt refinery at Lloydminster earlier in 2017, but that project has now been deferred, according to Duvall.

“We decided to defer a decision on the Lloyd asphalt refinery, following our purchase of the Superior Refinery in Wisconsin. Superior provides us with additional asphalt capacity. We closed the acquisition on Nov. 8,” he said.

“We’ll take another look at the Lloyd project down the road.”

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